Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Interesting because buried amongst all the disturbing news from the Episcoverse this week was a story reported in "The State" about a lawsuit against Bishop Waldo of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina that appears to stem from events surrounding the removal of the Dean of Trinity Cathedral last year. My report on that earlier problem can be found here.
"'Bishop Waldo callously and blatantly defamed and humiliated Ellen Linder before the entire congregation of the church and the public at large by falsely accusing her, with absolutely no justification or investigation into Ellen’s side of the story, of conspiring with her husband to break the laws of the church that she devoted her life to,' the 56-page complaint alleges." (Read it all at "The State,")
145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord. I will keep your statutes. 146 I cry to you; save me, that I may observe your decrees. 147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I put my hope in your words. 148 My eyes are awake before each watch of the night, that I may meditate on your promise. 149 In your steadfast love hear my voice; O Lord, in your justice preserve my life. 150 Those who persecute me with evil purpose draw near; they are far from your law. 151 Yet you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true. 152 Long ago I learned from your decrees that you have established them for ever. 153 Look on my misery and rescue me, for I do not forget your law. 154 Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes. 156 Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your justice. 157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, yet I do not swerve from your decrees. 158 I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands. 159 Consider how I love your precepts; preserve my life according to your steadfast love. 160 The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures for ever. 161 Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words. 162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law. 164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous ordinances. 165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. 166 I hope for your salvation, O Lord, and I fulfil your commandments. 167 My soul keeps your decrees; I love them exceedingly. 168 I keep your precepts and decrees, for all my ways are before you. (Psalm 119)